The Site Analytics tool, accessible to users with 25k reputation or more, includes a "Traffic" graph that has three curves:

  • page views
  • visits
  • new visits

I was not sure what the difference between a "page view" and a "visit" was, so I searched for it on Meta. However, neither the privilege page nor the FAQ nor the feature announcement post seem to contain this information. The announcement post contains the not so helpful sentence

  • Traffic — Includes the existing "Number of Visits", "Number of New Visits", and "Total Page Views" in one graph. The data series are relabeled "visits", "new visits" and "page views".

I finally found what I think to be the answer by reading about the common meaning of these two concepts on external websites (it seems that a "view" is counted every time someone loads an SE page, and a "visit" is counted only when someone loads a page coming from an external site).

Is this documented anywhere inside the SE network? If not, can it be documented? Something like a hover text on the words "page views" / "visits" would be helpful.

(I could add the explanation myself to the feature announcement post, but for that I would need to be sure that my interpretation of the meaning is correct).

1 Answer 1


These figures are copied directly from the Google Analytics API.

  • Page view matches what you describe.
  • A 'visit' is now called Session; consecutive page views by the same user within 30 minutes count as a single session. (Also, if it's midnight, that will start a new session.) You do not necessarily need to come from an external site to count as a visit. More explanation and a helpful diagram can be found here.
  • A 'new visit' (new session) is a visit by a user who hasn't been to the site before (at least not in the last 30 days, it seems).

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